Answer. Organic compounds have the following general characteristics:
(i) Origin: Naturally occurring substances are obtained from plants and animals. On the other hand, inorganic compounds are obtained from minerals and rocks.
(ii) Composition: Carbon is an essential constituent of all organic compounds. They are made up of few elements such as carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, halogen, sulphur etc. On the other hand inorganic compounds are made up of almost all the elements of the Periodic Table known so far.
(iii) Covalent linkage: Organic compounds contain covalent bonds that may be polar or non-polar, while the inorganic compounds mostly contain ionic bonds.
(iv) Solubility: Organic compounds haying non-polar linkages are generally soluble in organic solvents like alcohol, ether, benzene, carbon disulphide etc. On the other hand, the inorganic compounds with ionic bonds are soluble in polar solvents like water.
(v) Electrical conductivity: Due to the presence of covalent bonds, organic compounds are poor conductor of electricity, whereas inorganic compounds being ionic in nature are good conductors of electricity.
(vi). Melting and boiling points: Generally organic compounds have low melting and boiling points and are volatile in nature. Inorganic compounds, on the other hand, have comparatively high melting and boiling points.
(vii) Stability: Since organic compounds have low melting and boiling points they are less stable than inorganic compounds.
(viii) Combustibility: Organic compounds with high percentage of carbon are generally combustible. On the other hand, inorganic compounds are mostly non-combustible.